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Old 01 October 2019, 22:53   #2322
demolition
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Copenhagen / DK
Age: 39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matburton View Post
OK here's mine Why 8 bits in a byte?
Yeah, I know it is boring to just post a link to wikipedia, but the first paragraph explains it very well:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte

In essence; a byte was not always 8 bits. It started out as grouping bits together so they could hold text. That was doable with 6 bits, including punctuation and various control codes, but it eventually settled at 8 bits per group as it was a good compromise and fit well into a binary world. A word on the other hand, can be anything and depends largely on the architecture. 16 bit words are common today, but they could just as well be 8 bits or 40 bits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigaHope View Post
Not all systems used 8 bits per address. There were numerous minicomputer CPUs from the 1960's to the 1980's that had different-sized "bytes", but none of them were used in personal computers. Once the industry standardized 8 bits as the smallest addressable chunk of data, it pretty much stuck, since if you manufactured RAM to a different standard it wouldn't sell very well.
Well, 9 bit memory was also quite common but that was used for parity.
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